COPD.. Does everyone has same symptoms?

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I was never officially dignosed with COPD, though I believe I got most of the symptoms. It started all of a sudden over a year agowhen one day I started feeling all deezy and menthally confused along with dyspnea attack and fatigue. Never coughed before and was generally healthy/sporty for years. I'm also considerably young (29 y.o.), but I've read that COPD can happen at any age. I should mention that I was going through some stress and I've smoked for about 2 months just before this nightmare started. Before, I was smoke free for almost 6 years (started at 15, quit at 23). I did all possible tests including spirometry, Xray, cardio etc. but all came back clear. I'm so frustrated cuz I feel that it gets worse: I'm weak and "brainfogged" 24/7, experiencing constant insomnia and chest/shoulders pain, loosing my breath now much quicker than back year ago, plus I've noticed my nails turned kind of blueish and hurt. Well, full list I guess smile I'm trying to stay positive, but should say it's not easy when you feel like you're dying and can't get any health assistance due to no diognasis. Does anyone here has similar simptoms or similar story and can share their experience? it would help me so much to figure how to deal with it. 

Light and peace to everyone.

- Dave

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  • Posted

    Hi Dave first of all you are very young to have copd,  so it probably isn't that especially if the spiromety doesn't show any damage to your lungs.  Were you told your lung function?  If it's between 90-100% then you haven't got copd.  Did/do any of your close relatives have it?  

    I am not saying nothing is wrong but to me it sounds much more like health anxiety which is quite common,  especially as you say you have been under stress recently.   

    Have you tried any anxiety meds?  If it is anxiety they should help.  Failing that all you can do is keep going back to your doctors until you get a diagnosis.  x

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Hypercat!

      I should have asked for my spirometry results, but back then I had no idea where would I use them. Now I moved to another province (BC,Canada) and have to start it all over. Also, god I wish it would be something simple like anxiety, but I feel like such disorder doesn't make your nails look blue and leave you out of breath. Besides, I tried a course of antidepressants and ativan/xanax, which made my life a bit easier, but no general changes to the condition. And as far as I know I have no relatives diagnosed with COPD, so I guess that excludes an option of Alpha-1 deficiency.

      You totally right about keep going back to doctors and that's what I'm gonna push on. It's just that it takes forever (I live in Canada) and I thought maybe meanwhile I could work on the problem myself.. if I knew for sure what's going on lol (crying)

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  • Posted

    Without an official diagnosis there is nothing really to advise,  except, as suggested check back with your doctor for further investigation into what may be causing your symptoms.  Explaining to your doctor the symptoms you mention here.

    You may want to check in with the Canadian Thoracic Society as well.

    Best wishes V

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    • Posted

      Thanks for reply Vee2! 

      I've checked the "Canadian Thoaric Society" website, there is a lot of useful information.Thanks for the tip! Definitely going back to the docs until the puzzle is solved. 

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  • Posted

    Morning Dave. I sympathise with your situation. It is very hard to deal with. There are some lung conditions that would fit your symptoms even with fairly normal lung function resultls. I am concerned about your blue nails. That sounds like low oxygen and could have a heart cause.  This all came on suddenly. Can you identify an event that triggered it? Were you exposed to gas or toxic fumes or smoke just before the attack? I think you should persist with doctors and tests. My story is a bit similar but I have eventually got diagnoses, more or less, with some things not fully accounted for. I think it is unlikely to be COPD, there is not enough smoking history and you are too young. But you do need to be tested for Alph1-anti-tripsin deficiency. Which does manifest itself at your age but would have come on gradually, and would probably show in the PFT numbers. Do keep us posted.

    All the best

    K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Katinka46!

      Before it started I only smoked reg cigarrets for around two months about half pack a day. No crazy stuff, no drugs or alcohol etc.. only some relationship related stress that I was going through. The only diognosis I got so far is depression.. duh! That's why I feel so sceptical about getting any results on my condition. However, I got no choice but to go back to tests and fight for the truth huh! Also, I never considered it could be a heart problem. I'll keep you updated on any results.  

      Thanks so much for your support and advice!

      - Dave

       

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    • Posted

      Morning Dave. Thanks for your reply. I believe that we know ourselves and our bodies better than anyone else. If you think your symptoms are due to depression then go with it. But from the physicians' angle doctors should never posit mental health causes for symptoms until they have exhausted ALL the physical options. Anything else is lazy doctoring. Use your oximetry when exercising. Many people have normal IC sats when at rest but they drop on exercise. Anything less than 90% gives cause for concern.

      Hope you get some answers.

      All the best

      K x

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  • Posted

    Everyone with breathing problems (yes, even those caused by anxiety) can buy a simple pulse-oxymeter on the internet. They are around £15 or $20 and in my experience remarkably accurate.

    With one of those to hand, one can tell in seconds if short of oxygen (anything under 90%). One can also use it to see the oxygen level increase as one performs relaxation procedures........

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    • Posted

      I paid £20 for mine and tested it at the doctors and it was spot on.  I tested it again a year later and it was out by a couple of points.  The ones at the doctors are recalibrated every day whereas mine isn't   Not a total answer but it can give a guide.  x
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    • Posted

      Hi gbhall and thanks for your advice! 

      Everytime I went to ER and checked on my Oxygen level it showed 95-98% (at least I've been told so). But I'm surely considering to getting my own oxymeter to check up on those levels myself under different conditions. I also think the most precise result would be by getting artery blood test done. Although it feels like the final option to go with.

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    • Posted

      A pulse oxmeter on your finger is fine for oxygen. An arterial blood test is only for carbon monoxide testing, and is a painful process as you need to find an artery not a vein, and arteries are deep in the wrist. The only time I have seen co2 tests done is when giving oxygen continuously, and the co2 needs to be kept low, else it is very dangerous
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  • Posted

    Hi I just googled what causes blue nails and it came up with lots of info.  I can't put the link in here but have a look.  x
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    • Posted

      I've googled it all and at the end I get more confused and puzzled then before I looked for it. There is plenty of variations, but it all comes to one cause: low oxygen level in the blood. Hopefully soon I'll figure what makes those levels to decline.

      Anyway, thanks for the point hypercat smile

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    • Posted

      Well that's a start monoloc isn't it?   I doubt whether you can figure it out yourself unless you are medically trained,  so I would keep going back to the doctor to get a diagnosis.   x
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  • Posted

    I am in the similar situation as you are my friend. I have been battling with persistent asthma(as all of my docs told me) for past 7 months. I'm 31. Hope your diagnosis can help me too.
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    • Posted

      Hey abhi3112!

      Feel bad for you.. but it's good to know you're not along, right? People on this forum's been really supportive to me which make me believe that pretty soon I'll figure the true cause for trouble that's ruining my life. Not sure what is your exact symptoms, but in my case I even had to give up on my job due to heavy brain fog and fatique. Well, I kind of learned how to deal with it (after a year), but most of the time it's just too heavy. And considering my (just yours too) relatively young age it just unbearable to admit that it will never go away or could turn into something worse huh.. Anyway, just hoping you have a lighter version of whatever it is my friend smile

      BTW how did it start? How long did you smoke for? Is your story similar to mine in any way? Asthma they say huh?

      I'm booking an appoitment tommorow with a local pulmonologist, hopefully it won't take long to get on test. I'll keep you posted on any results. 

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    • Posted

      Thats how I feel too...I am not ready to except that I have something like COPD at this age..and till now no doctor has said that its COPD(except one who vaguely said it may be COPD). It all started when I first started running, when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. When I started running first few days were okay then one day I started to feel pain in my chest. I stopped then. The next morning I woke up with a weird asthma attack which didn't go away with my normal inhaler. I went to the doc. and as I said before he said its asthma. He also did a spirometry/PFT test based on which he confirmed asthma. A X-ray was also done which didnt show anything. ECG was done to check if there is a heart issue which was also fine. In past 7-8 months I had one fit of chest infection with yellow mucus which went away after a course of antibiotics. I use to have burning feeling in my chest. I was really short of breath even while walking for sometime. It seems to have improved since that day but my chest feels tight all the time specially on the sides. Upper back and pain, Chest pain when I position my chest muscles in a certain way. I used to have sharp pain right in the middle of my chest front and back(which seems to have subsided now). Initially I used to spit clear mucus a lot but that too has subsided. I do feel this restriction all the time. Sometimes I feel better sometimes I feel worse. 

      As far as smoking is concerned I smoked for around 10 yrs with an average of 10 ciggs a day. Its been over a year since I quite smoking. 

      I too wasn't able to sleep for days. Having nightmares. Morning chest pain was a lot worse(It felt like I have been beaten up badly only on my chest area) initially. That too has subsided.

      I have seen 6 docs till now and will be seeing 7th on 3/17. My chest still feels weird. Can't seem to understand what it is.

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